On March 14, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that marriage licenses could be invalidated if a petitioner could show a “substantial likelihood” that a marriage would violate a “public policy.”
The decision came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Obergefell v.
Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The ruling in that case led to the end of the state’s ban on same-day marriage.
The ruling also overturned a lower court decision that had ruled that the state could not recognize marriages that were solemnized by clergy, who are prohibited by the Pennsylvania Constitution from officiating in same-gender marriages.
This case involved the state of Pennsylvania’s denial of the licenses of a couple who had been married in a state-recognized ceremony.
In a statement on the court’s decision, Justice Rebecca Bradley said:This case is a reminder that while the state has the right to ban same-person marriage, it is also entitled to respect for the constitutional right to marry.